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Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Surgery


Psychology Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Surgery

  • req1442
  • Richmond, Virginia, United States, 23298
  • Surgery
  • Virginia Commonwealth University
Dr. Thomson, Director of Research at the Injury and Violence Prevention Program (IVPP) at VCU, is accepting applications for a postdoctoral researcher. This position is supported by a 5-year R01 funded by the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH).

Description of the project:
This project aims to understand biological markers for callous-unemotional (CU) traits in youth with conduct disorder, and if these biomarkers contribute to the stability of CU traits over time. This study will explore sex differences in these associations.

The successful candidates will have the opportunity to be involved in ongoing research activities on the topics of injury and violence prevention, childhood psychopathology, and personality disorders. This includes evaluation research of interventions for firearm-related violence, intimate partner violence, human trafficking, youth violence, and substance use. In addition to intervention evaluation and development, Dr. Thomson’s lab is involved in understanding the biopsychosocial mechanisms of violence, conduct disorder, callous-unemotional traits, and personality disorders (with particular emphasis on psychopathy and borderline personality disorder). The successful candidates will be involved in the development of innovative treatment approaches, such as the use of virtual reality for intervention. The candidates should have a strong interest in pursuing independent research within these areas or closely related (e.g., suicide prevention, sex differences in violence, trauma). For more information about IVPP and our research, visit https://www.vcuhealth.org/services/injury-and-violence-prevention

The candidate will be responsible for conducting day to day research activities. This will include recruitment of patients as participants, conducting baseline and follow-up assessments, implementing and developing innovative participant retention strategies, treatment fidelity data collection, data entry and cleaning, coding data, database development, analyzing data, literature reviews, manuscript preparation and submission to peer-reviewed academic journals, IRB protocol compliance and maintenance, disseminating research at local and national conferences, and developing grant proposals. The candidate should be comfortable working independently in the hospital setting. The candidate will be responsible for recording, cleaning, and analyzing psychophysiology data (ECG, respiration, skin conductance, facial EMG) as well as conducting semi-structured interviews.

This position requires working in rotation on the weekends and some evenings.

Required Qualifications:
  • Requires a Ph.D. in psychology or closely related field, and two years of relevant experience
  • Proficient in administering and coding psychophysiology
  • Proficient in AcqKnowledge/BIOPAC software
  • Proficient quantitative data analysis skills including the ability to use statistical packages (SPSS) and proficiency in navigating and maintaining databases are required (e.g., REDCap)
  • Evidence of excellent interpersonal skills
  • Evidence of excellent organizational skills
  • Knowledge and research interest in callous unemotional traits and conduct disorder
  • Demonstrated experience working in and fostering a diverse faculty, staff, and student environment or a commitment to do so

Preferred Qualifications:
  • Publication history in the field of conduct disorder (including callous-unemotional traits), psychopathy, violence/aggression, and developmental psychopathology
  • Demonstrated success of independent research
  • Experience conducting semi-structured clinical interviews and neurocognitive assessments (e.g. WASI)
  • Those with experience/interest in clinical psychology and intervention research are strongly encouraged to apply
  • Experience measuring and analyzing pre-ejection period (PEP), skin conductance, respiratory sinus arrhythmia, and facial EMG.


Each agency within the Commonwealth of Virginia is dedicated to recruiting, supporting, and maintaining a competent and diverse work force. Equal Opportunity Employer

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